As promised yesterday, today’s post is also a celebration of Cinco de Mayo and all of the many blessings Mexico has brought us. For example, tequila. Don’t get me wrong–for a chef, my alcohol palate is pretty limited and unsophisticated. But I do like tequila, especially in the form of a margarita. And what I’ve learned recently is that margaritas are much easier and cheaper to make at home. If you’re as much of a beginner at mixology as I am, I recommend reading Serious Eats’ extensive guide to all things tequila.
When I realized I would start blogging here at The Nosher during the first week of May, the first thing I did–seriously–was email a few friends to invite them over for a margarita tasting. I had no idea how into it they would get. In my email, I suggested we might do a few more “non-traditional” flavors, like pineapple-jalapeno, and the next thing I knew, my inbox was packed with ideas for Jewish (okay, Ashkenazi) flavored drinks–tzimmes, rugelach, and latke, to name a few.
After a lot of tinkering and laughing (and, of course, eating a great Mexican-themed meal) we came up with two drinks I’m confident you’ll want to try. The first has the making of a great dessert margarita–sweet and smooth. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more adventurous, try the Passover-inspired margarita below. Don’t be afraid–this thing is seriously good.
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of apple juice with the honey until it comes to a boil and reduces to about 3/4 cup of liquid. Set aside to cool.
When the apple juice mixture is at room temperature, combine it with the tequila, triple sec, the rest of the apple juice, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
Pour the drink into a container or jar and shake with ice.
Before serving, sprinkle each glass with ground cinnamon or salt the rims with a cinnamon-salt mixture.
Pomegranate Horseradish Margarita
Adapted from the New York Times
100 ml horseradish tequila
50 ml lime juice
25 ml pomegranate juice
62 ml triple sec
25 ml simple syrup
To make the horseradish tequila, peel and shave 2 tablespoons of fresh horseradish and let it sit in 1 cup of tequila for at least an hour to infuse. Remove horseradish either with a strainer or by wringing it out with cheese cloth.
Mix all ingredients (you will have extra horseradish tequila). Pour the drink into a container or jar and shake with ice.
Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday. In the United States, it is commemorated as a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. And, since Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines, that’s definitely a holiday I can get behind. (Sneak preview: tomorrow’s post will feature a fun Jewish twist on Cinco de Mayo.) Serve these dairy dishes at your Shabbat dinner to add some flare to your meal in honor of this special occasion. Buen provecho!
I have been dying to try this mushroom and poblano tart since I saw it a year ago. It is a fun, whole grain dish that will definitely take your guests by surprise.
Serve these black bean chilaquiles to appease the die-hard meat eaters at your table with a little more heft and protein. The recipe is vegan, but I don’t think a crumble of feta or queso fresco on top will do anyone harm, right?
As a side dish, this fresh, mayo-free coleslaw with a Mexican twist seems like just the thing to add some crunch and spring flavors to the meal.
I wouldn’t normally advocate serving a fried dessert like sopapillas on Shabbat, but since I’ve done it before, I can offer two pieces of advice: 1) They’re going to be amazing even a few hours after frying and 2) Watch out for the oil! Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Shabbat Shalom and happy cooking!